At United Way of the Bluegrass, we are currently celebrating our centennial year, highlighting 100 Heroes who have been important in our fight for the basic needs, education and financial stability of our neighbors over the past century.
We recently interviewed Bill Brown, the Employee Campaign Chair (ECC) at JIF and a Sweet Dreams Project supporter to learn more about his role and relationship with United Way of the Bluegrass.
What is your current or former role within United Way of the Bluegrass and what does a typical day look like in this role?
In addition to my regular duties as Operations Manager at JIF, I lead and organize activities that provide convenient opportunities for my fellow employees to give to United Way of the Bluegrass, both financially and in the form of service to others.
Currently, as the United Way coordinator at our facility, I lead the annual Lexington Plant United Way of the Bluegrass Campaign, which centers around employees giving pledges. I also organize an internal collection for the Sweet Dreams Project, which supports children in our community by providing them with gift bags containing new pajamas, books, snacks, a toothbrush and toothpaste. Our Lexington employees donate so these gift bags can be filled, and our volunteers help United Way pack the bags for each child.
How is the JIF company related to United Way of the Bluegrass, and how did their partnership originate?
Prior to 2002, Jif was owned by Procter and Gamble, who initiated the relationship with United Way of the Bluegrass. After the J.M. Smucker Co. purchased Jif in 2002, the tradition of supporting the great work done by United Way carried over and continues to this day.
What is your favorite project that you have worked on with United Way of the Bluegrass or that you have seen United Way of the Bluegrass work on?
The Sweet Dreams Project. It’s incredibly rewarding to help those in the community in need, especially children.
In your opinion, what positive change has United Way of the Bluegrass made in the Bluegrass over the past 100 years?
United Way of Bluegrass has positively impacted the lives of countless residents. It has opened the door to a wide assortment of generous giving and has spread a sense of community by allowing neighbors to help those that need it most in their area.
What is your favorite place and thing to do in the Bluegrass?
One of my favorite things to do is to take family and friends to Keeneland to see the thoroughbreds up close and watch the races.
What is your favorite local restaurant in the Bluegrass area?
Bella Notte – My wife and I eat there or do takeout almost every Sunday.
Thank you for being such a strong part of UWBG, Bill! We appreciate you and all that you've done and continue to do.
To learn more about how we are continuing to serve the Bluegrass in 2021, click here.
Do you know someone who has worked alongside United Way of the Bluegrass in the past century who should be considered for our 100 Heroes series? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your nomination!